Saturday, June 4, 2011

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles

Southern Style Results
Maybe about two months ago,  there was a competition of southern-style cooking while I was in Chicago.  Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles was my last meal of the trip, and it was a send off for the ages. In my last post, I indicated that it was so good, I needed to have Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles again. And I got my wish.
For my friend Niki’s 26th birthday, she had decided on Roscoe’s for brunch on Memorial Day. There was a group of us, Niki, Sarah and I, already having been there before, so the other three, Michelle, MJ, and Christine had not. Surprise for them! They were all unsure about the food, but luckily, the excitement of the trip was contagious.
I ordered the fried chicken breast, a waffle, and collard greens, which I would later be teased for because of the price of the side. And do not forget the sweet tea! It may be growing on me, but only within the sanctuary of a southern restaurant. If I must have it, then I will only have it done right. 

The waffle was so sweet and so thick, warm and steaming right from the griddle. I almost wanted to go out on the veranda, sip my sweet tea and watch the sunrise over the swamps. It felt so old-style southern, to munch on it, lightly drizzled in a little maple syrup and a dollop of churned butter. It probably also helped that I was wearing a long, cotton dress, only enhancing that southern charm that surrounded the meal.
The fried chicken was done so well, moist, succulent, sweet just like the waffle. I am convinced that the batter they use for the waffle is also used for the chicken, or at least some of it, because the flavors meld so well together that it makes a person, me in this case, sigh with desire, with contentment, like a good morning kiss from the love of your life. I ate the chicken piece by piece, with my hands, never with a fork, only making sure I touch the greasy, crispy brown fried goodness.
The collard greens were better this time around. They weren’t drenched in oil, in vinegar, as one can see. They were piled high and so delicious. Warm and with a slight bit of crunch still within them, I still used my fingers to eat them. This, perhaps, was outside the southern charm, the southern manners that this place may benefit from, but I didn’t care. There was no reason to scorn me for enjoying this soul food, just me and the food, nothing else.
Roscoe’s wins hands down, because the sweetness and the golden crisp of the fried chicken blew me away. And the fact that it could be eaten later, in my case later that evening, and in MJ’s case, a night ago, made this meal something that was worth enjoying day after day, never once the taste disappearing.
Twinkie-ish, but then again, who says no to a Twinkie? 

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